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The stopping of respiration or the asphyxia that results from it.

Symptoms of Asphyxiation

The following features are indicative of Asphyxiation:
  • abnormal breathing
  • choking

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Common Causes of Asphyxiation

The following are the most common causes of Asphyxiation:
  • prolonged labour
  • mid forceps or breech delivery in full-term infants
  • abruption of placentae
  • difficult breech delivery
  • maternal sedation in premature infant deliveries

Other Causes of Asphyxiation

The following are the less common causes of Asphyxiation:
  • respiratory diseases
  • sleep apnea
  • seizure which stops breathing activity
  • strangling
  • breaking the windpipe
  • drowning
  • drug overdose
  • low oxygen atmosphere like underwater, excessive smoke, vacuum

Risk Factors for Asphyxiation

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Asphyxiation:
  • newborn infants

Prevention of Asphyxiation

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Asphyxiation. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • Cardiotocograph test helps in identifying the possibility of asphyxia in pregnancy

Occurrence of Asphyxiation

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Asphyxiation cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Asphyxiation most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • At birth

Common Gender

Asphyxiation can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Asphyxiation

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Asphyxiation:
  • Apgar score test: To check the physical condition by adding points (2, 1, or 0) for heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, response to stimulation, and skin coloration
  • Umbilical cord arterial pH testing: It provides evidence of the metabolic condition of neonates at the moment of birth
  • Multisystem organ dysfunction testing: To check any cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, pulmonary and renal dysfunctions
  • Neurological manifestations testing: To check seizures, coma, hypotonia

Complications of Asphyxiation if untreated

Yes, Asphyxiation causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Asphyxiation is left untreated:
  • changes in the hemopoietic system
  • altered biophysical characteristics of blood
  • changes in the structure of certain blood elements
  • changes in the function of erythrocytes
  • changes in leukocytes and thrombocytes

Procedures for Treatment of Asphyxiation

The following procedures are used to treat Asphyxiation:
  • Hypothermia treatment: To reduce the risk of death and disability by ages 18 to 22 months compared to routine care

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Asphyxiation.

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